The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Cost Of Your Dreams

There are three basic aspects of the "Lifewriting" process, the
CHILD’S STORY: A short “fairy tale”, about 100 words, about how you grew up to be the adult you are today. “Once upon a time there was a little girl/boy who…”

ADULT STORY: A written statement of your commitment to step #1. No more than 50 words. Your vow to take control of your life.

FUTURE HISTORY: Write the story of your life, starting today, and continuing until the day you die. Have goals in ALL THREE MAJOR AREAS. Make it as sensory rich as you can. BUILD INTO YOUR LIFE STORY WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO GIVE IN EXCHANGE FOR WHAT YOU ARE RECEIVING.

This last part is essential. Most people will set goals, but have no idea or commitment as to the price, the cost, of achieving them.

1) Determine the cost. To do this, find people who have already accomplished your goal, or a goal as close as possible. Preferably, starting from where you started in life.
What actions, beliefs, allies, and resources did they need?

2) Decide if you are willing to pay that cost. Don't lie to yourself. Losing weight and keeping it off demands BOTH exercise and dietary discipline. Improving finances demands BOTH increasing income AND budgeting more carefully. Improving relationships demands BOTH improved self-love, self-respect and empathy AND better communication skills, courage, and honesty.

What is your emotional damage? Everyone has it. Willing to face your demons? To ask for help and build teams of allies? Deal with the inevitable defeats? Is so, walk on. If not, CHANGE YOUR GOALS. There is nothing wrong with changing goals, deciding the cost for time, effort, money, or discomfort is just too high.

If you want to get int o the top 1% of any discipline, you'd better be prepared to spend 10,000 hours at it. If it isn't worth that, choose another goal.

3) Put your failure recovery process into place FIRST. Whatever emotional, financial, or physical safety net you are going to need (and you DO know what it is, right? You HAVE actually spoken to, or studied the words and lives of people who have accomplished your goal, right? Right?) before you begin.

4) Analyze where you are in life currently. Subtract this from the overall mass of work you will have to do to accomplish your dream. What remains is what you must acquire to build the life you want.

5) Plan to do 1% of this work every week. Divide it up. Plot and plan. Build mastermind groups. This is Musashi's "The Way Is In Training." Work out every day, seeking slightly deeper knowledge of the body-mind IN EVERY SESSION. Write a short story a week, or every other week. Take your meditation a fraction deeper every day. Begin to take healthy chances in your love life.

6) Fail successfully. When you fall on your face, get rejected, or relapse--and you will!--journal what you have learned. Enjoy the fact that you've had the courage to try (most won't), get up and try again.

7) Repeat process until it reaches unconscious competence. Until this rhythm is totally instinctive. And...if you have chosen your goals in balance (body, mind, emotions, and finances), you will find yourself growing in unexpected ways, and beginning to understand the meaning of life in a direct, divine, non-linguistic fashion. It is an amazing experience, one with no downside.

If you think the disappointment of failure is hard, just try the regret of never trying at all.



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